When I first started out on a wardrobe overhaul, I found it really helpful to have a sort of style north star by curating my closet and outfits to generally fit into one or two aesthetics.
At this point, I’m more in the roll-with-it mode when it comes to my day to day aesthetic. I like every item in my closet, and I’ve spent so long really concentrating on styling things that I have a solid idea on how the pieces work together, so I don’t need to constantly reference back to one style framework to keep myself focused.
However, I still really enjoy making Pinterest boards, and for any given outfit, I find it easier and more satisfying to put it together when I have a specific vibe in mind, even if it’s different from one day to the next or incorporated to a lesser degree.
Here are some of the style concepts that I reference the most.
I’d sum the style up as utilitarian and playful with hints of punk and hippie. In internet-speak: “somewhere between art hoe and gorp-core”
I have a blog post that goes into a more in-depth breakdown of what this means to me.
Romantic and earthy-but-not-hippie. Somewhere at the nexus of cottagecore/mori, vintage academia, Miyazaki girl, and high fantasy fairytale aesthetics. I started the board in Fall / Winter 2018, though it was pretty strongly influenced by the particular flavor of polyvore/tumblr nature-twee seen in the “Polyvore Throwbacks” subsection.
“Witchy” / “Romantic Goth”
Nowadays I tend to gravitate towards this for “going out” outfits rather than easy casual fits, because I find that I like dark monochrome outfits the most when they have as much texture crammed into them as possible.
A Framework for Depth
A concept I’ve found interesting was a list for “what makes a place magical”, written by James Talbot for the development of the Casa Neverlandia art house. I think a lot of it is also applicable to a wardrobe (many thanks to u/weph for sharing the list on reddit) or any area of visual design, really. Lots of good food for thought around how to enrich an outfit in different ways.
I personally enjoy distilling what defines a style, and find that having a framework to work with makes it easier to create outfits on a day to day basis. Do you need to have this level of detail mapped out for your own outfits in order to live a happy life? Do you even need a defined personal style at all? Definitely not!
Okay, but where do you shop?
Mostly in the same stores that most yuppie millennials shop at. I like browsing my local consignment stores as well, or eBay if there’s a specific product I’m looking for, or for vintage.
You can see brands for each item on my Airtable base (links at Wardrobe Tracking), but I tend to go for (in no particular order)
- Madewell (jeans, sweaters, accessories)
- Uniqlo (mostly for basics, as in thermals, underwear, sweatpants)
- Free People / Anthropologie / Urban Outfitters
- ASOS petite
- Forever 21 (at this point, only for accessories and costume pieces)
- I usually shoe shop from whatever Nordstrom is carrying, or if it’s something basic like 1460s, I like Bill’s on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley.